I spent Sunday afternoon driving around, exploring, looking for that perfect picture to capture with my camera. I haven’t been out since last fall, and I didn’t know where to go. So I just hopped in the car and drove. I wanted to rejuvenate my love for photographing old run down abandoned houses, or that barn up on the hill, so I headed north, out into to a more rural setting.
I drove for hours, only stopping twice to take one or two pictures! What’s wrong with me? I drove by several abandoned houses, falling down buildings, probably hundreds of barns. Have I lost my edge? Is photography not doing it for me anymore? All I could think about was how much gas I was wasting! It’s sad really.
Before I headed out, I was skimming through some of my past images. To me, I feel like I have lost something in the past couple years. Originally I blamed it on the loss of my old tablet PC. I started out with an older Toshiba Satellite Tablet laptop, with which I could just flip the screen over, and use the stylus right on the screen. I LOVED that comp. Not to mention what I saw on the screen was EXACTLY what the print looked like. This new laptop makes everything much lighter, and no matter how much I play with the display settings, it doesn’t help.
When my tablet PC kicked the bucket one last time, I stopped playing with images for quite a while. I stopped taking pictures, I stopped making abstracts, and photomanipulations? No way! But gradually I got used to using the mouse again (lefty using a right handed mouse here!), and gradually I started working my way back into my creative outlet. Looking around my blog now days, you see I’ve been doing mostly photomanipulated book covers, and recently I purchased a Wacom tablet, still trying to grasp what I had with my tablet pc. (Though I tend to go for the mouse more still lol) And with that attempted grasp, I was looking to grab onto my older style in photography/editing.
Which brings me to my original point of this post. Some days you just get sidetracked…..
After driving around for about 4hrs, I stop and get something to eat (driving makes you hungry!), sit down, pull out my map to figure out where I’m going next. Because this aimless driving, wasn’t getting me anywhere. And then I had a thought. Why don’t I go revisit some of the places I photographed before? I mean, 4-5 yrs have passed, they might be even more dilapidated! So I pack up, head an hour west, all excited that I KNOW WHERE TO GO!
To this day, my favorite image in my portfolio is “Abandoned” It just speaks to me on sooo many levels. I weave my way through all these back country roads, spitting up rocks as I fly down the dirt roads, my destination for once completely clear to me. As I start to pass the adjoining apple orchard, I slow, eyes peeled, music blaring on the radio, fingers tapping with the rhythm, sitting forward in my seat leaning over the steering wheel, so excited. The clearing approaches, I pass by an old trailer, then a massive stack of apple crates, then more orchard. Wait, more orchard? I throw it in reverse. Stop in front of that pile of apple crates. Note the shrubbery surrounding them is familure, then notice the cement foundation they are stack upon. My heart sinks. It’s gone! Gone!
I’m not sure how long I sat there staring at these stacks of apple crates, but it was a while. I reached for the camera at one point, intending to “document” the loss, but couldn’t bring myself to actually take the picture. It seems so silly to be upset about the loss. It was a falling down, abandoned house, no “historical” importance, a safety hazard! But still, I felt the loss so deeply. I can’t explain it.
I suck it up, thankful I found it when I did 4 yrs ago to take that amazing picture, then decided to revisit a few more spots in the area that are prominent in my portfolio. (There were quite a few in this area) I head down the road to where I took “Quiet Barn”. I slow as I come up to it, very familure with it’s exact location, since when I lived out there I drove by it almost daily.
I keep going, now looking for places I photographed, desperately needing to know if they are still there.
I stopped looking, and just went home. It just goes to show, you never know how long something will still be there.